Saturday, June 27, 2015

What I’m Watching: True Detective (Season Premiere)

True Detective: Season 2, Episode 1 “The Western Book of the Dead” (B-)

I’ll remind those of you who aren’t loyal readers that I didn’t particularly love this show’s pilot and I opted not to check back in for a second look until the show earned numerous accolades and I felt it necessary to marathon through the entire season for the sake of the Emmy Awards. It hooked me by the middle of episode four, but I still didn’t find it to be nearly as excellent as many proclaimed. I was set on watching it now that I know it paid off to a degree, and while this initial installment is undeniably intriguing, I think it needs some work before it should be considered must-see television. Whereas last season there was an impossibly dark storyline inhabited by strong characters, it seems that this year is about the truly diverse talent the show signed for its second iteration. It’s not clear what Vince Vaughn’s mogul, Taylor Kitsch’s suspended cop, Rachel McAdams’ dogged investigator, and Colin Farrell’s deadbeat detective have in common, and it feels like this story has been artificially created to link them all together. The show is definitely maintaining a commitment to darkness as it relates to its characters, particularly Farrell’s Ray and what happened with his wife and McAdams’ Ani and her family history. I don’t think this will compare to a biblical serial killer, but I suppose it’s worth finding out. McAdams was great in this hour, but the performer I’m watching most closely is Kelly Reilly, who I think will be the standout in this season the way I found the underrated Michelle Monaghan to be last year. My interest has been piqued, and I would love to have my expectations blown away.

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